The Senate campaign of Josh Mandel, the former Ohio state treasurer who ran twice against Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), is already running into some trouble.
On Tuesday, the Columbus Dispatch reported that at least two of the three fundraisers who quit Mandel’s campaign in recent months pointed to the mistreatment of staffers by Rachel Wilson, who serves as Mandel’s campaign finance director.
Wilson reportedly cussed out her subordinates, demanded 12-hour shifts from them, and name-called and yelled at them in front of others. Campaign manager Scott Guthrie told The Columbus Dispatch in an email that Mandel and Wilson have been dating each other since August 2020.
Mandel is among the Republican candidates seeking to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) by angling for an endorsement from former President Trump.
Ever since he insisted that Trump’s second impeachment is what inspired him to launch his latest Ohio Senate bid, Mandel has blasted out Trumpy tweets, such as railing against the “censorship” that conservatives supposedly suffer at the hands of social media giants and suggesting that “illegals” are more likely to commit crimes in the United States.
Mandel’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended after the social media platform determined that his racist tweet violated its rules.
“Conservatives everywhere should be frightened by the ongoing censorship by Twitter, Facebook, Google and the liberal media,” Mandel wrote in a press release, accusing Twitter of “silencing” him because he criticized “Biden’s border crisis.”
According to the Dispatch, volatility within the campaign has been ongoing for some time.
A source told the newspaper that neither Mandel nor Guthrie stepped in to stop Wilson’s unprofessional behavior towards staff, despite knowing about it for weeks. The source claimed that finance staff members cried in the office regularly. The Dispatch viewed texts between campaign staffers that reportedly confirmed Mandel and Guthrie’s were aware of Wilson’s behavior toward staff.
The source also recalled Mandel and Wilson getting into heated arguments that often involved expletives over campaign-related issues.
“They’d go out in the hallway and scream at each other,” the source told the Dispatch.
Guthrie declined to provide more details on the staff departures.
“This is a process question and we don’t go into internal campaign processes,” Guthrie told the Dispatch. “We wish them the very best.”
Mandel announced his campaign for Ohio Senate weeks after Portman declared he would not seek reelection in January.
Three fundraisers who worked for Mandel’s campaign resigned in the spring, with two of them quitting on May 13.
Three sources told the Dispatch that Wilson is no stranger to creating a hostile worker environment with her subordinates and co-workers.
Wilson, who was documented pushing the camera of an Ohio Democratic Party tracker who was following Mandel on the campaign trail in October 2017, began her career in Ohio political fundraising with Mandel’s unsuccessful Senate race against Brown.